Retro Cucumber Relish

The saying “When it rains it pours” certainly relates well to my garden.  So often it’s slim pickings in my vegetable and herb garden, but when I do get a crop you can bet your life it’s a bumper crop then its time for some cucumber relish!

A few weeks ago I started drowning in cucumbers.

Home Grown Cucumbers
Home Grown Cucumbers

After I proudly photographed the cucumbers for my instagram feed (doesn’t everyone do that??). I started wondering what I was going to do with these giants.

Cucumber Relish "The Old Fashioned Way"
Cucumber Relish “The Old Fashioned Way”

There is only so much cucumber you can add to a salad or sandwich! Also, these cucumbers had been left a little long on the vine so they were slightly bitter.

I started looking through some old family recipes. Pickled cucumber and cucumber relish seemed the obvious choices as it would be easy to make a huge batch.

Cucumber Relish
Cucumber Relish

The recipe yields about 8- 10 jars of cucumber relish so make sure you have enough sterilised jars prior to  starting.

As I was making the relish I started counting off which neighbours would be receiving a little condiment gift. There was no way all of these were going to fit in my fridge!


Cucumber Relish "The Old Fashioned Way"

Retro Cucumber Relish

Here is a traditional cucumber relish, it's great on sandwiches and a cheese board.
4.42 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Preserves
Cuisine: Old Favourites
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 jars
Author: Julie


  • 1 kg cucumber
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 25 gm fresh ginger grated
  • 5 chillies chopped
  • 15 gm ground tumeric
  • 250 gm brown onion chopped
  • 460 gm brown sugar
  • 950 ml vinegar
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds


  • Thinly slice the cucumber on a mandolin.
  • Sprinkle the cucumber with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Leave to sit for 1/2 hour.
  • Prepare jars and lids by washing them in warm soapy water.
  • Turn the oven onto 120 degrees.
  • Once the glasses are clean place them on a tray and into the oven to sterilise.
  • After 15 minutes turn the oven off but leave the glasses in the oven.
  • Wash the salt off the cucumber.
  • Combine the cornflour and water until a smooth paste forms. Reserve for later use.
  • Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and allow to simmer gently for 40 minutes whilst stirring.
  • Add the cornflour paste to the relish and stir until the mixture has thickened.
  • Remove the relish from the heat and carefully pour the hot mixture into the hot jars.
  • Fill the jars within a centimetre of the top and put the lid on straight away to get a vacuum seal.

Cucumber Relish delivered to you door!

Once the last of the cucumber relish was safely bottled I asked Anais if she wanted to do the deliveries.

I was pretty impressed that I had managed to use up a kilo of cucumbers.  I really don’t like to waste food.

Retro Cucumber Relish
Retro Cucumber Relish

The resulting relish was so much better than the giant bitter cucumbers!

Cucumber Relish Recipe with Chilli
Cucumber Relish Recipe with Chilli

Adding the chilli to the cucumber relish recipe didn’t make it hot, it just added another layer to the flavour.

The relish is absolutely delicious on a steak sandwich in place of sauce, I smothered my steak in it and loved every bite!  I’m sure it would go well with any meat or cheese sandwich.

The cucumber relish is absolutely delicious on a steak sandwich in place of sauce, I smothered my steak in it and loved every bite!  I’m sure it would go well with any meat or cheese sandwich.

2 thoughts on “Retro Cucumber Relish”

  1. This relish is fantastic. Had loads of home grown cucumbers. Just sad I didn’t find the recipe until near the end of the summer. Have kept the unopened jars in cool dark cupboard and the relish is still OK after 6 months. Have used it gradually over the winter – once the jar was opened have kept in the fridge.


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